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Boston College Women’s Hockey Sweeps Merrimack Heading Into Final Weekend

League seeding is starting to get clearer

BC Athletics

It wasn’t the nice, stress-free weekend that the Eagles hoped to get against 9th place Merrimack this weekend, but Boston College Women’s Hockey came away with all six points nonetheless in a big weekend sweep of the Warriors. Hannah Bilka scored a hat trick on Friday in a 6-4 win at home before Kelly Browne scored late for a 3-2 win in North Andover on Saturday afternoon.

Friday’s game at Conte Forum was a wild one, with the second period being probably the craziest twenty minutes of the season. Merrimack scored three goals in 3:42 to take a 3-0 lead just before the midway point of the game, leaving the BC team in a state of bewilderment. It would have been nice for the Eagles to get one goal back before going into the third period, but instead they scored three goals before the 2nd period buzzer sounded. Hannah Bilka tied the game with just 15 seconds left in the frame at 3-3, surely injecting the bench with a burst of confidence.

From there, BC handled Merrimack with third period goals from Maddie Crowley-Cahill, Hannah Bilka for the hat trick, and Caroline Goffredo to ultimately take the contest by a score of 6-4.

Saturday’s game was more conventional, but also more frustrating. The Eagles never trailed, but Merrimack wouldn’t go away despite BC controlling possession and holding a 37-19 advantage in shots. The Eagles thought they had themselves a winning goal with under 5 minutes left in the game, but the Warriors tied things up just 31 seconds later. With all three points crucial for league seeding, Boston College had to dig deep to try and pull the game out in regulation — and sure enough, Kelly Browne found a winner with only 1:18 left on the clock for the W.

The weekend’s results brought some clarity to the Hockey East standings going into the final weekend despite the somewhat confusing nature of ranking teams by points percentage. 5th place Boston University maxes out at 44 possible points in 25 games for a 0.587 point percentage, while the Eagles can’t go lower than 46 points in 26 games at 0.590. That should lock BC into the top four, earning a home game for the Hockey East quarterfinals.

2nd place Vermont and 3rd place UConn each dropping a game this weekend has opened up a chance for the Eagles to climb as high as 2nd place, as well. A regulation sweep over Vermont would see the Eagles pass the Catamounts, and BC just needs to earn two more points than UConn does in the final weekend to pass the Huskies — the latter being the more likely scenario, as UConn plays first place Northeastern for two games.

Seeding will be extra important this season with all games being played at the higher seed, so it will be a big final weekend for BC. The Eagles take on the University of Vermont at Conte Forum at 6:00pm on Friday and 2:00pm on Saturday.